Coconut is an often welcomed accompaniment to many meals and snacks; is the coconut FODMAP content low?
Yes, the coconut FODMAP content is low enough to include within certain serving size recommendations in your diet.
Coconut products have varied approved low FODMAP thresholds.
In this article we will discuss the FODMAP content of coconut and various coconut products and we have included some delicious recipes for you to enjoy.
IS COCONUT LOW FODMAP?
The short answer is that it depends.
Coconut may be low FODMAP, depending on the type and portion size. Below we have gone through each variety for you.
WHAT IS COCONUT?
You might have heard that despite its name, coconut is actually a seed. However, it is nutritionally classified as a nut due to its nutrient content and how it is usually eaten.
Therefore, it does not count towards the UK’s recommended ‘5-a-day’ (1).
It comes in many different forms and the FODMAP content of these are explored in this article.
Monash University reports that the FODMAP content of fresh coconut is low in servings up to 64g (2).
This means enjoying coconut as part of your low FODMAP meals and snacks is possible.
However, be aware that moderate amounts of the polyol sorbitol exist in larger serving sizes and this would exceed the guidelines.
This can be low FODMAP in specific quantities. However, it depends on the type of coconut milk and how it has been processed.
Check out our other post on Coconut milk FODMAP Content for more information.
According to Monash University a small serving (100ml) of coconut water is low FODMAP (2).
Servings >250ml contain higher levels of fructans and sorbitol, which may trigger symptoms.
Shredded coconut is low FODMAP at 30g (2). In larger servings, it will contain larger amounts of sorbitol, which may result in symptoms.
Coconut oil is low in FODMAPs. Generally, oils do not contain FODMAPs as they are fats, not carbohydrates (2).
According to Monash University, coconut sugar is low FODMAP in 1 teaspoon servings, as it contains a small amount of fructans at that quantity (2).
At 3 teaspoons, the fructan content becomes higher in fructans and may exceed the threshold for some people with sensitivity, which may cause symptoms.
Want to know more about Fructans? Check out this post: Fructans – Are You Intolerant To Them?
Coconut yogurt is low FODMAP in 125ml, which is approximately 1 single serving pot of yogurt, but always check the label (2).
However, it is important to be mindful of ‘flavorings’ in the ingredients list. When choosing your coconut yogurt, avoid products that contain:
- High FODMAP fruit
- Fruit juice.
If you would like to know more about Inulin and the low FODMAP diet, check out this post: Inulin And The Low FODMAP Diet.
Coconut flour is high FODMAP. It is the dried and milled by-product of coconut milk production (3).
The 100 g serving tested by Monash University was found to be high in oligosaccharides, fructose and polyols.
In just 3 tablespoons FODMAP friendly found coconut flour to be high FODMAP (2). Therefore, it should be avoided.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF COCONUT
Manganese is a trace mineral, present in coconut that our bodies cannot make. It is required for bone health, wound healing, and immune health (4).
Therefore, dietary sources are important to have.
There is research indicating coconut oil may raise HDL cholesterol, the ‘good’ cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol, the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
However, more research is required to determine the appropriate role of coconut oil in cardiovascular health (5).
Contrary to popular belief, coconut products such as coconut water are not ‘superfoods’ and many of the claims lack sufficient evidence or have been exaggerated (6).
Despite this, if you enjoy the flavour and creaminess that coconut can bring to your meals then there are plenty of low FODMAP ways for you to enjoy it.
LOW FODMAP COCONUT RECIPES
In this section, we will list some recipes specifically designed for breakfast or snacks to satisfy sweet cravings.
These recipes are FODMAP-friendly, ensuring you can enjoy them without triggering any digestive discomfort.
SWEET LOW FODMAP RECIPES
- Coconut and Melon Chia Pudding
- Low FODMAP Browned-Butter Coconut Pancakes
- Coconut Snowballs
- Gluten Free & Low FODMAP Chocolate Coconut Granola
- Low FODMAP Coconut Creamed Rice with Stewed Rhubarb & Strawberries
If you find the low FODMAP diet bland, coconut can help to add a delicious nutty flavour to your food.
It is also useful for adding a lovely creamy consistency to curries and soups.
SAVOURY LOW FODMAP RECIPES
- Coconut and Pumpkin Curry
- Coconut Chilli Chicken Noodles with Veggies
- Low FODMAP Coconut Rice Salad with Pineapple & Herbs
- Low FODMAP Lentil Dal
- Spinach and Coconut Soup
Coconut can be a delicious low FODMAP addition to your diet if you consume portions within the recommended serving sizes and avoid forms of coconut that are not FODMAP friendly.
It is important to read ingredient lists, to ensure you avoid high FODMAP ingredients that have been added to an otherwise low FODMAP food, including inulin and honey, amongst others.
Coconut and coconut products have many benefits such as enhancing the flavour and consistency of foods.
Additionally, as a source of Manganese, it may be useful for bone health, wound healing, and immune health.
It is important to recognize that it is not a ‘superfood,’ but it can be enjoyed on a low FODMAP diet if you like it for its other properties.
There are plenty of ways to include coconut in your diet more regularly, in curries, soups, desserts, or even breakfast!
Article written by Manisha Kaur (Student Dietitian), reviewed by Kirsten Jackson, Consultant Dietitian BSc Hons, RD, PG Cert
Serena is UK HCPC Registered Dietitian. She graduated from Coventry University in 2021 with an upper second class in Dietetics and Human Nutrition.
Serena has previously worked as an Acute Dietitian supporting inpatients with both oral nutrition support and enteral tube feeding. She is now currently working as a Specialist Weight Management Dietitian. Alongside this, Serena has worked for The Food Treatment Clinic since 2022 and has created our low FODMAP, histamine intolerance and SIBO ebooks.
Serena has a keen interest in IBS and gut health, most specifically the low FODMAP diet. She is dedicated to helping those with gut conditions to improve their overall quality of life.
Last updated on September 10th, 2023 at 05:52 am